ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — A lot of emotion in Orchard Park as the entire country rallied around Damar Hamlin, and fans we spoke with say this game was so much more than a win for the Bills against the Patriots, it was Western New York coming together as a family.
One family that sticks together through it all. That’s the message we heard all day from Bills fans at Highmark Stadium.
“So, I just believe that we’re strong and it’s Buffalo Stong,” said Montrice Goins, Buffalo resident. “And that’s how it’ll always be.”
An outpouring of love and support for Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin.
This game against the Patriots is the first for the bills since that scary night in Cincinnati. And as Bills Mafia does, they flooded Orchard Park with number threes on signs, shirts and even cars.
“I was tearing up before the game, just thinking about Buffalo as a whole and thinking about my family,” said Tim Kreuz, Williamsville resident. “And just how much it meant to be there.”
With a packed stadium and the number three highlighted on the field, Bills and pats fans cheered on the healthcare professionals that saved Hamlin’s life.
“You see fans from every single team come together and they’re just supporting him,” Danna Marshall, Forestville resident.
And as a survivor of cardiac arrest, this game was very special for Marnetta Malcolm.
“So, it was especially emotional and triggering for me, Malcolm said. But, I know he was gonna recover because we went through a similar situation. And the support from the community was tremendous. So, if anything I’m glad that the Bills won — go Bills!”
The country is still showing an enormous amount of love for Damar Hamlin through his Chasing M’s Foundation. Donations for that GoFundMe — more than 8.5 million dollars and counting.
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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.